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Eden Robinson


Eden Robinson "Aboriginal author Eden Robinson held the Festival crowd in thrall with the passion of her personality. She read from her first novel, Monkey Beach, scenes drawn from her life on the central coast of B.C. - descriptions of her grandparents, their love of old-fashioned TV soaps and salmonberry stew.

Her latest book, Blood Sports, takes on stronger stuff. It is drawn from a story in her first collection, Traplines. The author laughed and cried on stage, charming the crowd with her sincerity and disturbing them with descriptions of life in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver." Coast Reporter, August 11, 2006 from a report on the 24th annual Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt, BC

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"Long in the works, Robinson's sought-after second novel about extortion and other forms of human manipulation, is set in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside amid drugs and prostitution."
Read a Review in the Georgia Straight
by John Burns
January 12, 2006
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Blood Sports, a novel by Eden Robinson
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart

This eagerly anticipated new novel is Eden Robinson's most satisfying, disturbing, and addictive to date.

A new novel from one of our best young writers, Blood Sports is the tough, gritty story of the brutal cat-and-mouse relationship between two cousins "Tom and Jeremy Bauer " set in Vancouver's Downtown East Side.

Tom, a young man, hardly innocent, has been caught up over the years in Jeremy's world of drugs, extortion, and prostitutes, while Jeremy, vindictive, vicious, either protects Tom or uses him, but always controls him. Added to the mix is Paulie, a junkie two years clean and Tom's girlfriend, and also the mother of his daughter. This lethal triangle shifts when word gets out Tom has been talking to the police, and men from the past who have a lot to lose reappear. Suddenly Tom and Paulie are pawns in a much larger game, with everything at stake.

With the storytelling skill and engrossing characterizations that have made her previous books so popular, Robinson keeps the tension humming in this riveting novel. This is Eden Robinson at the height of her powers.

"I was born on the same day as Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton. I am absolutely certain that this affects my writing in some way." Eden Robinson

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An Excerpt from Blood Sports

THE THIRD FLOOR had ten rooms on each side of the hallway. The doors were shut, the hallway filled with the tinny echo of classic rock from a slightly out of tune radio station. Willy's room was the first door to the left, distinctive because he'd spray-painted eyes on his door and the surrounding walls. One of his less lucid states, he'd explained, when Tom asked about the eyes that stared, shocked wide and dull.

Tom passed Willy's room. He walked to the end of the hallway. The communal bath was in the room on the left side, and the toilet was separate, on the right. The window was boarded up to prevent frequent flyers. He flicked the switch. A bulb in a cage lit a room overwhelmed by the rusting, clawed bathtub. Tom turned and shut the door, locked it behind him. As an extra precaution, he took three plastic wedges from his courier bag and jammed them under the door.

He unrolled a threadbare towel in the yellowed tub. In the towel, he'd stashed a utility knife, a roll of joint tape, a small can of antiquing wash, a sponge brush, a paint scraper and a mini-tub of putty. He held the knife in one hand. Stepping up, he balanced himself by straddling the wide rims of the tub. Under the dim light, the walls were the colour of old piss. He ran his fingertips along the wall until he felt a raspy line. He brought the knife up and sank it in, cutting a square. He eased the piece down, leaning it against the tub's wall. A fat hook gleamed from one of the wooden struts. He pulled on the thin, silver chain attached to the hook until he brought up a black metal briefcase. He shook off the roaches, sat on the edge of the tub, resting the briefcase in his lap. He spun the combination locks until the snaps cracked open. The bottom of the case was filled with money and three kilos of coke.

He dropped the bundles of money into the open courier's bag at his feet. He snapped the case shut, spinning the combinations. After placing the briefcase back, he slowly brought the square of wall up and taped it. He ran putty over the seams.

While he waited for the putty to dry, he took out a well-worn, phonebook-length copy of What to Expect from the Toddler Years. He picked up a wad of bills and took them out of their Ziploc bag. He opened the book and started placing hundred dollar bills between the pages. The next wad was all fifties, another wad of twenties and then the rest of the money was hundreds again. Tom tried to think of other things while he did this.

That's your problem, his cousin Jeremy had told him, knocking his knuckles against Tom's forehead. You overthink things. That's why deer get run over. They aren't dazzled by the headlights. They're weighing their options - should I go back, no, I should keep going, shit, is that the right thing to do? And then their time runs out and, WHAM, Bambi burgers for dinner.

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Read more about the author
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Honouring Eden Robinson
University of Victoria, 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award
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Author's Profile
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Traplines

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